The federal government has said it is set to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the African Continental Free Trade Area ( AfCFTA) later this week.
This was disclosed in a press statement by a media aide to the president, Garba Shehu on Wednesday evening as President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to attend the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification in Niamey.
Phase II Protocols of the AfCFTA range on agreements from intellectual property rights, to investment and competition protection.
Shehu noted that President Muhammadu Buhari will embark on an official trip to Niamey, the Republic of Niger to attend the African Union Summit on Industrialization and Economic Diversification, as well as the Extraordinary Session on African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He said the Extraordinary Session on AFCFTA is expected to adopt the Phase II Protocols of the continental free trade area as well as launch additional operation tools.
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He added that “Nigeria has continued to demonstrate a high level of commitment toward the full operationalization of a pan-African free trade area that will create a single market for goods and services, liberalise and facilitate the movement of investment and business people across the continent.
“On July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary session of the Assembly and launch of the operational phase of the trade deal. The country ratified its membership of the AfCFTA on November 11, 2020.
President Buhari will be accompanied by the minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; minister of defence, Major-Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd), minister of industry, trade and investment, Adeniyi Adebayo; the minister of finance, budget and national planning, Zainab Ahmed.
For catchup: The protocols are expected to come into force on the date of the deposit of the instrument of accession and be constituted into protocols on intellectual property, investment, competition policy, and e-commerce, and also form part of the single undertaking subject to entry into force (Art. 8 of the AfCFTA Agreement)
As of January 2022, 41 countries of the African Union’s 54 member states (excluding Eritrea) had deposited their instruments of AfCFTA ratification. Specifically for Nigeria, the agreement is expected to open the African market for key manufacturing companies in the country to support export sales whilst also raising the prospects of attracting foreign direct investment across the manufacturing value chain.